Tuesday, October 26, 2010


My great aunt made the decision to move into a nursing home last week. I say “made” only because she’s the one who finally came out and said it. There really is no alternative. She’s 94 and in the last two months has lost the ability to get around on her own. She had some physical therapy for a few weeks but they decided it won’t help, thus her need for an alternative to living alone.

She’s been in this apartment for over 25 years. Seeing her leave it is very, very sad. The social worker at the home thinks she may be a touch depressed over the whole thing. Um, yeah, me too. She’s leaving her home and all the things that have provided her comfort over the years and losing her independence all at once. I’m depressed too just thinking about it.

The idea of her sitting in a chair, staring at nothing like she has been hurts. She’s lost all interest in reading, so odd seeing her without a book nearby. On the rare occasion she bothers switching on the tv she watches without sound. She’s stopped participating in any of the activities the home offers, things she joined in on before when she was there for stints of physical therapy. She barely talks when I visit, as if all her stories have been locked inside, no longer meant for sharing. Yeah. As I said, seeing her like this hurts.

I would do anything possible to make this easy on her, cheer her up in any way I could. But I don’t know what to do. I’m not ever sure there is anything I can do. I’ve made sure she knows I’m here. I guess that’s about all that’s left now.

1 comment:

Molly Daniels said...

Keep visiting her, and keep trying. Does she like flowers? Fruit? Maybe a special 'favorite food'; my MIL was thrilled when we took her a pizza or even desserts.

My great-grandma had to be forced into assisted living, but she enjoyed my weekly visits, and I took her raisin bread, strawberry ice cream, and grapefruit.

(((HUGS)))) I know it's hard to watch a loved one having to depend on others.